Serial killer fears: Area of Tampa on edge after 3 killings

A family photograph surrounded by candles and flowers is seen at a makeshift memorial along 15th Street in Tampa where Anthony Naiboa, 20, was found dead on Oct. 19. Three shooting deaths in the area in the last two weeks are considered by police to be related. The deaths, which took place in the same neighborhood over the past 10 days, prompted Tampa police to warn residents in the Seminole Heights neighborhood not to walk alone at night. (Will Vragovic/The Tampa Bay Times via AP)

The Associated Press

A man shot and killed early Tuesday just blocks from where three others were killed within days of each other could be the latest in a string of  slayings police believe have been done by a serial killer.

It's not known if Tuesday's homicide is connected to the three October murders, but a Tampa police spokesman told NBC News it will be treated that way until it is ruled out.

The man was shot just blocks from a memorial honoring the three victims killed in the Seminole Heights neighborhood.

As police scoured the area for a suspect, residents were told to lock their doors and stay in place.

At approximately 5 a.m. on Tuesday, police patrolling the area received a call of shots fired and were at the scene within a minute, police said.

The earlier murders began on Oct. 9, when Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was shot while waiting for a bus. On Oct. 13, Monica Hoffa, 32, was found dead in a vacant lot after being shot. And on Oct. 19, Anthony Naiboa, 20, was shot and killed while walking.

Investigators have not said what evidence ties the three initial crimes together, or whether they have forensics that show the same weapon was used in all of them.

"There's some psycho out there putting other people through this pain and suffering I'm going through," Kenny Hoffa, Monica Hoffa's father, said in late October. ""I don't know why he feels the need to go out and senselessly murder people in the street, shoot them down like they're dogs."

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